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WHS as media server? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am intriqued with the possibility of using my WHS system as the server for a client/server setup using one of these hardware solutions for displaying videos/movies/pictures on my TV...

     

    http://ez4media.com/ezfetch.php

     

    http://www.pixelmagicsystems.com/products/media_players/hd_mediabox.htm

     

    Does anyone have experience with these products or could recommend another solution?  And, an opinion as to whether or not their server applications with work with WHS.  They are stated as compliant with XP, 2000, but not WHS.

     

    The other approach is to use one of my networked PCs as the server, but with them being laptops and not always on, the homeserver with lots of storage is best.

     

    Thanks

    Friday, March 28, 2008 3:00 PM

Answers

  •  

     

    Sorry, I don't have any experience with those two products, but...

     

    If you look at the little footnote on the Pixelmagic device, it says that some HD content may not play properly.  I'd be concerned about that.


    My son has an XBox 360 and a the new Linksys Wireless N gaming adapter. I think the model number is WGA600N  It works great streaming audio and video from our Windows Home Server onto his new 32 In Vizio LCD HDTV.  He loves it.  We are in the process of taking our DVD library and ripping them to our WHS server.

     

    I have a Gateway computer that has the Gateway 24 inch monitor with the Faroudia codecs.  I can sit at my desk and stream video from our WHS using Windows Media Player, and the movies look great.  My computer is also using a Linksys WIreless N adapter, and our router is a Linksys WRT350N Wireless N router.

     

    I wanted to get the video from our WHS to our 37 in LCD HDTV in our bedroom, so I was excited when Linksys announced and released their new Wireless N media extender earlier this year.  They have two models, the DMA 2100, and the DMA2200.  The only difference is that the DMA2200 has a built in DVD player.

     

    I found the DMA2100 at the local Circuit City store for $250 and purchased it. I could not get the DMA 2100 to stay connected to our network for long periods of time.  When it was connected, it did a horrible job of streaming video.  The audio played fine, but the video would start, stop, and sometimes lock up the device, requiring a hard reset.  The user interface was horrible, it was extremely slow and clunky.  Basically, it looks like somebody's Beta version 0.002 of a media extender, it should have never been released to the public.

     

    When I went to the Linksys  Support Forums, I found that lots of people were having similar problems.  Nobody from Linksys support was posting any help there. Linksys does not have an MVP program.  There was no help.  I posted 2 messages about my problem, and both times, my messages were deleted and I received a private messsage from the moderator telling me that my message were deleted because they were not in accordance with their TOS.. Huh?  I thought it was a tech support message board, I was asking for help!

     

    Anyway, that's another story... I had the DMA2100 for 2 days and returned it for a refund.

     

    I listen to a LOT of technical podcasts.  I recently heard the guy that Leo LaPorte has as his A/V specialist also say  that the Linksys media extenders were junk.  They were saying to wait for the DLink wireless N media extender, which should be released soon. They are saying that it's performance is drastically improved over the Linksys.

     

    The only problem I'm having with all this is justifying the cost of the DLink media extender.  I belive the price is going to be $350.  For that kind of money, I can almost buy an XBox 360 and the Wireless N gaming adapter.

     

    Whatever you decide, I firmly believe that you need the Wireless N technology to make it all happen... and that's whole discussion that probably doesn't belong here.

    Friday, March 28, 2008 4:42 PM
  • DrichCT:

     

    Although I can't comment directly on the two systems you mention, I did want to let you know that, at least for one household, WHS is working very well as a media server (audio, video, and photo) in conjunction with at least one receiver product (Pinnacle ShowCenter 250HD).

     

    We've had the Show Center 250HD for about 4 months now and purchase it because it offers both wired and wireless hookups and plays the broadest variety of formats our research uncovered.

     

    We use the wired mode because many posts about dropped video with wireless transmission seemed to discourage that route.  If you are considering wireless transmission I heartily agree with another poster who said to have a wireless N router.

     

    Although Pinnacle gets lots of complaints about non-existent customer service - we haven't found many consumer electronic products these days that don't have lots of complaints about non-existent customer service.

     

    Downside of the ShowCenter is that common big-box retailers don't seem to carry the box - so it's pretty much an on-line purchase option only.   Also, be sure to get the 250HD as earlier models of the ShowCenter seemed to not be as flexible in accepting formats as the 250HD model.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Friday, March 28, 2008 7:38 PM

All replies

  •  

     

    Sorry, I don't have any experience with those two products, but...

     

    If you look at the little footnote on the Pixelmagic device, it says that some HD content may not play properly.  I'd be concerned about that.


    My son has an XBox 360 and a the new Linksys Wireless N gaming adapter. I think the model number is WGA600N  It works great streaming audio and video from our Windows Home Server onto his new 32 In Vizio LCD HDTV.  He loves it.  We are in the process of taking our DVD library and ripping them to our WHS server.

     

    I have a Gateway computer that has the Gateway 24 inch monitor with the Faroudia codecs.  I can sit at my desk and stream video from our WHS using Windows Media Player, and the movies look great.  My computer is also using a Linksys WIreless N adapter, and our router is a Linksys WRT350N Wireless N router.

     

    I wanted to get the video from our WHS to our 37 in LCD HDTV in our bedroom, so I was excited when Linksys announced and released their new Wireless N media extender earlier this year.  They have two models, the DMA 2100, and the DMA2200.  The only difference is that the DMA2200 has a built in DVD player.

     

    I found the DMA2100 at the local Circuit City store for $250 and purchased it. I could not get the DMA 2100 to stay connected to our network for long periods of time.  When it was connected, it did a horrible job of streaming video.  The audio played fine, but the video would start, stop, and sometimes lock up the device, requiring a hard reset.  The user interface was horrible, it was extremely slow and clunky.  Basically, it looks like somebody's Beta version 0.002 of a media extender, it should have never been released to the public.

     

    When I went to the Linksys  Support Forums, I found that lots of people were having similar problems.  Nobody from Linksys support was posting any help there. Linksys does not have an MVP program.  There was no help.  I posted 2 messages about my problem, and both times, my messages were deleted and I received a private messsage from the moderator telling me that my message were deleted because they were not in accordance with their TOS.. Huh?  I thought it was a tech support message board, I was asking for help!

     

    Anyway, that's another story... I had the DMA2100 for 2 days and returned it for a refund.

     

    I listen to a LOT of technical podcasts.  I recently heard the guy that Leo LaPorte has as his A/V specialist also say  that the Linksys media extenders were junk.  They were saying to wait for the DLink wireless N media extender, which should be released soon. They are saying that it's performance is drastically improved over the Linksys.

     

    The only problem I'm having with all this is justifying the cost of the DLink media extender.  I belive the price is going to be $350.  For that kind of money, I can almost buy an XBox 360 and the Wireless N gaming adapter.

     

    Whatever you decide, I firmly believe that you need the Wireless N technology to make it all happen... and that's whole discussion that probably doesn't belong here.

    Friday, March 28, 2008 4:42 PM
  •  rickmcm wrote:
    Whatever you decide, I firmly believe that you need the Wireless N technology to make it all happen... and that's whole discussion that probably doesn't belong here.
    What's wrong with a wired LAN?  The orignal post didn't specify that wireless would be required.
    Friday, March 28, 2008 6:58 PM
  • DrichCT:

     

    Although I can't comment directly on the two systems you mention, I did want to let you know that, at least for one household, WHS is working very well as a media server (audio, video, and photo) in conjunction with at least one receiver product (Pinnacle ShowCenter 250HD).

     

    We've had the Show Center 250HD for about 4 months now and purchase it because it offers both wired and wireless hookups and plays the broadest variety of formats our research uncovered.

     

    We use the wired mode because many posts about dropped video with wireless transmission seemed to discourage that route.  If you are considering wireless transmission I heartily agree with another poster who said to have a wireless N router.

     

    Although Pinnacle gets lots of complaints about non-existent customer service - we haven't found many consumer electronic products these days that don't have lots of complaints about non-existent customer service.

     

    Downside of the ShowCenter is that common big-box retailers don't seem to carry the box - so it's pretty much an on-line purchase option only.   Also, be sure to get the 250HD as earlier models of the ShowCenter seemed to not be as flexible in accepting formats as the 250HD model.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Friday, March 28, 2008 7:38 PM
  • If WHS was to be a proper media server then it should be able to run Media Center and record and or stream TV.  That way you could set up a WHS box with several TV tuners and use that as the central repository for TV and then place MC extenders at all your TV sets - some TV sets are supposed to be coming with MC extenders built in.  MS did not do this but you can run some other TV apps such as Sage on WHS so the most complete WHS server option involves not using MS products.  Strange but true!

     

    Friday, March 28, 2008 8:20 PM
  •  

    Thank you to all who replied.

     

    The connection is indeed wired, but I too agree that N would be required for wireless (and even faster than the wire). 

     

    I will check out the Pinnacle product.  I am not a fan of the XBOX solution (my son's is on right now) given the limited video format support.  Ideally, the hardware will have a Blueray player built in as well.

     

    If I hadn't just laid out for a 46" Sony, I would consider the HP Mediasmart TV:

     

    http://www.hp.com/united-states/digitalentertainment/mediasmart/tvdemo/mstv.html?jumpid=ex_R602_info/hho-ng-1333-mediaSmart

     

    Someone will have the perfect solution one of these days.

    Saturday, March 29, 2008 2:28 AM